Nic Maddinson slams the SCG pitch days out from New Year’s Test vs South Africa

Nic Maddinson has launched a stunning takedown of the SCG pitch just a week before it’s set to host the third Test against South Africa after the Renegades were well beaten by the Sixers in the BBL on Wednesday night.

The Renegades struggled for any fluency with the bat, falling 34 runs short as they failed to chase down Sydney’s modest total of 8/149.

The match was played on the same pitch as the Sixers’ game against the Stars on Monday night, featuring a very short boundary to the eastern side of the ground.

Seven Renegades were dismissed for single digits after they were rolled for 114 in Tasmania last week, and a frustrated Maddinson said the pitches were playing a big role in the lower scores across the BBL.

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Aaron Finch copped a nasty blow to the hand.  pictures;  Brett Hemmings/Getty Images
Aaron Finch copped a nasty blow to the hand. pictures; Brett Hemmings/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“It was pretty shit, to be honest,” he replied when asked about the pitch after the game.

“I thought it was one of the worst T20 wickets I’ve seen for a while, and it’s been a little bit like that all competition where we’ve had some pretty tricky wickets.

“I don’t think the wickets have been fantastic across the competition, and it seems to be a common theme among most teams where the pitches probably aren’t as fast or consistent as what they’d probably like.”

Sixers opener Josh Philippe was the only player to pass 50 on Wednesday with the quicks and spinners from both teams getting a lot of love out of the pitch.

The standard of pitches has been a talking point this summer with the Gabba rated “below average” after the first Test against South Africa ended within two days.

A different pitch will be used for next week’s Test, but there’s a strong chance we’ll still see a bowler friendly deck that could favor the spinners.

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“Even in their innings it looked pretty tough apart from Philippe who went after our spinners,” Maddinson said.

“It looked quite challenging against the seam bowlers. It’s a worn wicket with a few cross cracks and it was quite patchy and it made for some variable bounce and two pace (bowling).

“When you’ve got guys who can bowl 140 (km/h) with great change-ups and great skills, it makes it pretty challenging.”

There was a scary moment in the run chase when veteran Aaron Finch was hit on the hand by a Ben Dwarshuis delivery that rose sharply and seamed back in.

Finch was able to continue but required attention that halted play for a few minutes.

“You don’t like to see that,” said Dwarshuis, who ripped through the Renegades with four wickets.

“It was obviously a bit two-paced, the wicket, and when you’re bowling with the seam a bit scrambled, sometimes it hits the leather and takes off.

Thankfully he seems fine. I spoke with him out there and he said he was fine. It’s good that no one got hurt, but it’s always scary seeing stuff like that.”

Fans in the stands looked safer under the high ball than some of the Renegades. Pictures; Brett Hemmings/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The Renegades have now lost back-to-back games after they started the season with three wins on the trot, and they won’t have long to wait for revenge with another game against the Sixers on Friday.

Catching practice will be on the agenda that after they spilled several chances, including a costly one by Pete Hanscomb when Philippe was on 15.

“I think we’ve been a bit sloppy in the past two games,” Maddinson lamented.

“We fielded really well at the start of the tournament but we missed a few fairly simple chances. It’s another area to look at and bounce back from.

“It’s disappointing to lose the way we did because I thought our bowlers did a great job to come back after 10 overs. It’s two games in a row where we’ve let one slip.”

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